Baker & Banker Bakery, neighbor to Lori Baker and Jeff Banker's restaurant, packs a lot of potency into a small retail space. Recognizing the addictive power of cookies, B&BB now offers frozen dough to go in two varieties: ginger, and brown-butter chocolate chip. For $10, you can bake up to a dozen small cookies in 12 minutes.
Feeling indulgent, I grabbed a slab of brown-butter chocolate chip dough and cut nine big pieces to put on a cookie sheet. I also picked up a finished cookie from the bakery, so as to be incredibly scientific about comparing the results of such an important experiment.
Brown butter doesn't normally turn up in ordinary chocolate chip cookies. The technique of heating butter until it turns a deep and earthy color, then removing the milk solids for a silky, caramelized finish, isn't a practical one for mass-producing cookies.
But, boy, does that extra effort turn a bland standard into something worth examining with fresh taste buds. I kind of effed up my cookies by setting my hot-running oven a few degrees above the recommended temperature. The home-baked cookies didn't have the same luxurious contrast of crisp outsides and soft, chewy inside as B&BB's already-baked version. But, even with the flub, they were still good enough to disappear almost immediately.